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Message by the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka on the Day of Vesak

Colombo, 15th May 2022:

On behalf of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Country Team in Sri Lanka, I send my warmest wishes to all celebrating the Day of Vesak.

“Hatred is, indeed, never appeased by hatred in this world. It is appeased only by loving-kindness.”

As Sri Lanka and the world journey through these troubled times, may this teaching of the Buddha from the Dhammapada guide you.

His message of compassion, tolerance, and respect for one another are true today as they were over 2500 years ago.

Acknowledging the contributions of Buddhism to the world, an eminent Sri Lankan the then Foreign Minister Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar, brought a proposal to the United Nations General Assembly to make the Buddhist holy day an International Observance Day. Vesak was thus declared a Day of Observance by a General Assembly Resolution in 1999.

Today the United Nations stands with Sri Lanka, we admire the resilience shown by her people, and are hopeful of a peaceful recovery from the current crisis.

It is only with compassion, and purity of intent, that present challenges can be overcome.

“Not to do evil, to cultivate merit, to purify one’s mind – this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.”

Hanaa Singer-Hamdy
Resident Coordinator
United Nations in Sri Lanka
15 May 2022

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